NYRB II v. Rowdies Preview: Old faces return in clash of top teams

New York Red Bulls II will look to end their short road trip on a positive note when they travel to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday.

The baby bulls come into the game on a three match unbeaten streak with their only loss on the season being against Loudoun United. They needed some late heroics from Jared Stroud last week to manage a draw against Ottawa Fury to keep their streak alive.

The baby bulls will face their toughest challenge of the season on Saturday when they play the Rowdies who are tied with NYRB II for first place in the Eastern Conference. Manager John Wolyniec talked about the challenges the Rowdies present including their stout defense to start the year.

“They have been very tough to score against,” Wolyniec said. “I mean six shutouts, it will definitely be a
challenge in that sense, but we have scored our fair share of goals. They have been
tight in that way and do not give away a lot so certainly going to be a challenge there.
Their record at home is similar to their record away, but we have been there in the
past and we know it is a tough place to play. We have had some success there, but this team
is feeling pretty good about themselves in a confident way.”

In addition to their stout defense, the Rowdies also have some familiar faces on the their team. David Najem, Brandon Allen, and Andrew Tinari are all former NYRB II players that have made contributions to the Rowdies great start to the season. NYRB II defender Jordan Scarlett talked about facing some of his old teammates.

“It definitely will be fun out there,” Scarlett said. Most of us are looking forward to it, but most importantly what we are looking forward to is how good could we can be. They have been here, they
know the system, they know how to somewhat beat it. It is just for us now to be as good, but
definitely should be a fun matchup out there.”

Wolyniec also spoke about the fact his team would be playing against some of his former players.

“No secrets going into this one, that is for sure.,” Wolyniec said. “We try not to focus too much on the
opponent and try to focus on ourselves and make sure we are doing all the things that we feel
like we value and are good at, and we will continue to do that in this game. “

Despite the fact his former players know the system, Wolyniec feels confident in his team and the style they play.

I”t is always a little tricky when you have guys that have spent some time here,” Wolyniec said. “They know how we operate and how we go about our business and what is important to us. Certainly, there could be an advantage for them, but I think we have been dealing with that for a while, there is no secret in how we play and there has not been many games that we have changed our tactics. I am not sure there is too much to be gained, but again, it just adds to the challenge for us.”

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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